Review: GroundScore – Speed Kills

Review: GroundScore – Speed Kills

GroundScore – Speed Kills
Track Listing:
1.) Always I’m in Some Shit
2.) Sex in Ohio
3.) King of The Assholes
4.) Nobody’s Home
5.) Speed Kills
6.) Everyone’s Nephew
7.) Candy From Strangers
8.) Not Involved
9.) My Perfect Spot
10.) I Can’t Explain it Either
12.) Perfect Attendance
13.) Holiday
14.) Lay Lady Lay
15.) Here We Are
16.) Don’t Mind Me
17.) Delayed Gratification

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: May 17th, 2011
Record Label: SMB Records
Official Website: GroundScore Myspace

Group Background:
In 2008 punk/reggae trio GroundScore rose into existence out of the nation’s capital–the District of Columbia. Their 2009 debut album titled Healthy Children established quite the local fan base and helped them create a national presence within the ever-changing music scene. GroundScore has partnered with J. Robbins, legendary producer and member of The Clutch amongst other groups to produce Healthy Children and the album set to release on May 17th of 2011 titled Speed Kills!.

Album Review:
GroundScore’s 17-track sophomore album is proof that original methods of producing and recording tracks can sometimes outshine contemporary ways that are technically modified or sometimes completely computer-generated. GroundScore recorded Speed Kills using a 2 inch tape recorder typically used in 1980s. It all paid off too, it is the more natural way of recording music. If a band is talented enough the original way of reel-to-reel recording can create a very flexible atmosphere that can’t be captured by recording bits and pieces of songs then compiling and trimming them up on a generic production software program.

There is a fair balance of the frenetic power chords of punk rock and the skank with other specifics of contemporary reggae. It is a constant change of pace demonstrated by the first 4 minutes and 1 second of the album, starting in fury but balanced out by the up-tempo strumming and drumming with skank progressions and a walking bass line in the song Always I’m in Some Shit—the first track on the album. Many songs follow suit in regards to the mix of tempo and styles of progression.

My favorite is track number 11 titled EROCSCHTULC. Its rhythm and harmony of the vocals really got my attention but as a ten minute track also contains about a six minute jam session mostly of natural sounding percussion instruments but near the end builds to an almost psychedelic feel with a dim keyboard progression accompanied with a distorted bunch of riffs on the guitar. Lay Lady Lay is a reggae cover of Bob Dylan’s classic released originally back in 1969. I think it was done wonderfully by GroundScore. They stuck to a more straight edge sound rather than filtering the guitar beyond proportion.

If you are a fan of the hybrid mix of reggae and punk you will truly enjoy this album. The variety of distortion, tempos, and instrumental progression will keep you entertained. They also seem like very talented musicians. I listened to many songs and found plenty of solo work not only on guitar but on the drums and bass. The sophomore album of the District of Columbia’s GroundScore is a nice collection to listen and add to your library.

Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi

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